I recently noted the following comment from Marsha in the Facebook group seeking a deeper Appreciation of my work and writings, and she suggested I respond in a blog. I’m listening, and here is the blog. Marsha suggests that I misled by implying that the battle would be quick, and that the solution would be soon, and now she and others are disappointed.
Here is the Facebook post from Marsha:
OK. @Dr Craig Childress,
I’m mad at you. Side note, I’m not really mad at you, was meant to be an ice breaker.* I don’t know you to be mad at you.
You got parents thinking that Foundations will change their situations, (I mention to people that Rome wasn’t built in a day). However, your wording about Foundations when it came out, really made parents think things were going to change quickly. Now, there are parents that have the book, watch your videos and don’t have the $$$ to back any of this up.
What am I or others supposed to tell these parents?
They are learning the dynamics and feeling more helpless, instead of empowered.
You said we are going to change things now.
Would you be open to making a blog post that is like “I know this is going to take time, and I know that it’s going to take more time if you’re a broke parent, significant change will probably take, let’s be realistic, at the very least 5 years?
You can’t just write a book and disappear!! Where are you?
We are trying to get your book out there to professionals.
For free we are advocating for YOU.
Please tell me what to say to parents that don’t see a way to fix their situation after reading Foundations. They are feeling more helpless!
You need to know this! Put your empathetic shoes on and feel what a desperate parent with no more income feels.
Help!!!! (I feel like breaking down in tears)
First, let me thank you Marsha for your courage in offering this challenge. It’s not easy to take a contrary position, but it is often just these sort of contrary positions that deepen dialogue and deepen understanding. So thank you. As I address the issues you raise, I encourage you to hold on to the bumpy ride until you reach the conclusion of this post in No Worries.
To my friends who rose to my defense, my thanks to you as well. I agree with the issues you raise. Remember that dialogue and discussion is a good thing, and if everyone thinks alike then this stifles the exploration of issues and life is boring. Not only do dogs and cats exist, so do monkeys and lizards and birds. The existence of any one does not nullify the existence of another.
So, to address the concerns you raise, Marsha…
I know how desperate you and others feel. These are your children. They are the love and light of your world. They mean everything to you, and “parental alienation” has turned your entire world into a nightmare.
With the publication of Foundations, I said the world was changing. And now four months later, things are still the same. So what’s up with that? Why did I get your hopes up that things would be different quickly.
But you’re mad at me because “parental alienation” isn’t solved yet?
What are you taking about? Of course it’s solved. It was solved the moment Foundations was published. It’s now just a matter of enacting the solution. It’s just a matter of time now.
When I drop my keys I know they’re going to hit the floor because of gravity. Done deal. My keys are going to hit the floor, it’s just a matter of time. Bang, yep.
By defining the pathology of “parental alienation” from entirely within well-established and fully accepted forms of existing pathology, the solution to the pathology traditionally called “parental alienation” is now available. It just waits to be enacted. How long before it’s enacted? How long before my keys hit the floor? By introducing licensing board complaints I’m providing a turbo-charged boost. The publication of Foundations has created the gravity that will inexorably result in the solution. The only thing holding back the solution is a paradigm shift from the old Gardnerian PAS model for defining the pathology to the new attachment-based model for defining the pathology The exact moment this paradigm shift occurs, that’s the exact moment the solution becomes enacted.
In Stark Reality I said,
“If you are going to rely on me for that, I would anticipate that this will take between 10 to 15 years for an attachment-based model of “parental alienation” to achieve professional acceptance.”
My current goal is by Christmas 2016. I’m applying all the pressure I can to the process. Waking targeted parents from their induced slumber of victimization. Wake up! Empowering targeted parents to cause great pain to my incompetent professional colleagues (On Notice). Defining the road map for enacting the solution (the Empowerment video series). Challenging the Gardnerian PAS experts to bring their influence to bear (which I do again in this post).
One of the biggest turbo-charging boosts is coming from the immense courage of my professional colleague and your children’s steadfast advocate, Dorcy Pruter. Right now and into the near future, she is exposing herself to be viciously attacked by the pathogen. What the pathogen doesn’t realize, however, is that if it doesn’t succeed in destroying her then all of the dark energy it is expending to destroy her is going to create the very paradigm shift to an attachment-based model that will allow us to enact the solution to “parental alienation.” There is a significant battle looming, and Dorcy is going to be the lightening rod who draws the savagery of the pathogen out into the open. I will stand shoulder to shoulder with her in the center of this battlefield, and in defending her professional knowledge and expertise in this area, I too will draw the pathogen’s secondary fire, not as intense as the fire Dorcy draws, but still intense and savage. This is about to get nasty. But this is it. The time for battle is now.
Gardnerian PAS offers no solution whatsoever. Switching to an attachment-based model as defined in Foundations provides a DSM-5 diagnosis of Child Psychological Abuse, Confirmed, it provides a set of 3 diagnostic indicators that definitively identify “parental alienation” as either present or absent, and it defines a set of domains for professional knowledge required for the competent assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of “parental alienation” to which ALL mental health professionals can be held ACCOUNTABLE.
The moment the paradigm shifts from a Gardnerian PAS model to an attachment-based model, the solution becomes available immediately, because it is already here, just waiting for the paradigm shift. The solution is sitting right there, right on the table in front of you. Oooooo, so close, and yet still not quite here.
The fact that this solution now exists is what allows targeted parents to begin holding mental health professionals accountable by filing licensing board complaints for possible violations of APA ethics code Standards 2.01 and 9.01 regarding boundaries of professional competence and for a possible violation of the mental health professional’s “duty to protect.” The Gardnerian PAS model doesn’t allow us to hold mental health professionals accountable for their ignorance and incompetence. An attachment-based model does. Gravity. The keys are going to hit the floor.
The only reason that these APA ethical code Standards are now active for you and other targeted parents is because the solution is here, right now. If the solution was five years away then the applicability of these APA ethical code Standards wouldn’t be available for another five years. But that’s not the case. They are available to you today, right now, because the solution is available today, right now. Targeted parents are beginning to enact the solution as we speak.
What you’re referring to as “no solution” is that establishment mental health doesn’t yet know that an attachment-based model even exists. That’s true. But that’s not because the solution doesn’t exist, that’s just an ignorance factor. Do you think it will take us five years to educate establishment mental health that an attachment-based model for the pathology exists? Really? I suspect once targeted parents start filing licensing board complaints you’re going to get the attention of establishment mental health pretty quick. One or two malpractice lawsuits, a RICO lawsuit. I think we can get their attention pretty quick here.
But how long this takes is not a me issue, it’s a you issue. These are your children. This is your fight. I have given you the tools and weapons you need to protect your children. But I am not your warrior, it’s you who are your children’s warrior. Stop waiting for someone to rescue you, because your children are waiting for you to rescue them.
Many targeted parents have been lulled into inaction by their powerlessness. Wake up. Act. Fight back. “But you promised the solution would be here today.” It is. It’s sitting right there on the table in front of you. It’s a sword you can use to fight for your children.
I also know that many targeted parents are exhausted by their traumatization. I get it. No worries. This is a battle for ALL the children. If you need to sit this out because of your trauma, no problem. We’ll be fighting for your children as well. One voice is quiet. Ten voices is heard. A hundred voices is a movement, and thousand voices is an unstoppable force. Become an unstoppable force. Become a tsunami. In Foundations you have a solid theoretical foundation on which to stand and fight.
There’s a story about a flood that comes to a small town. The townsfolk are told to evacuate to higher ground, but a devoutly religious man decides to remain at home because he has faith that God will protect him.
As the flood waters rise, a group of neighbors drive by and say, “Get in the car and come with us.” But the man says, “No thank you, I have faith that God will save me.” As the flood waters rise a canoe paddles by and the people in the canoe say, “Get on board and come with us.” And the man says, “No thank you, I have faith that God will save me.” The flood waters keep rising and the man climbs onto his roof. Soon a motorboat comes by and the rescuers say, “Get on board.” But the man says, “No thank you, I have faith that God will save me.” Soon the flood waters begin to lap around the man’s legs, and a helicopter comes and lowers a rope ladder, and the man is told to climb the ladder. “No thank you,” says the man, “I have faith that God will save me.” Finally the flood waters sweep the man off the roof and he drowns.
When the man gets to the gates of Heaven, Saint Peter is standing there and the man asks Saint Peter, “I kept believing in God, and I kept waiting and waiting for God to rescue me. Why didn’t God rescue me?” Saint Peter replied, “What are you talking about? First we sent you a car, then a canoe, then a motorboat, and we even sent a helicopter to rescue you.”
Dr. Childress, why haven’t you solved “parental alienation?” What are you talking about? First I gave you a solid theoretical foundation that defines the pathology as a DSM-5 diagnosis of V995.51 Child Psychological Abuse, Confirmed. Then I gave you a set of video instructions on exactly how to enact the solution. Then I gave you a booklet for an ABAB assessment and remedy protocol to provide to the court to seek a protective separation and remedy for the child’s “parental alienation” pathology. Then I gave you a Professional Consultation booklet to give to your therapist to alert the therapist to the nature of the pathology.
Plus, the solution is available. Right now. This instant. The only thing that’s preventing the enactment of the solution is that we’re still operating under the old paradigm of Gardnerian PAS to define the pathology. The moment the paradigm shifts to an attachment-based model, the solution of V995.51 Child Psychological Abuse, Confirmed becomes available immediately. It’s already available. If a child comes into my practice with the three diagnostic indicators, I’m making the diagnosis of V995.51 Child Psychological Abuse, Confirmed and I’m filing a suspected child abuse report with the Department of Children and Family Services. Other mental health professionals can too. Today. Right now. Based on the theoretical model provided by Foundations. The keys are falling, they just haven’t quite hit the floor yet.
Why are You Working for Delay?
So if the only thing standing in the way of the solution is the change in paradigms from a Gardnerian PAS model to an attachment-based model, why are you mad at me when I’m the only one giving you all these various tools and weapons to fight for your children, but then you’re giving a free pass to all the Gardnerian experts who are continuing to work to actually maintain the old Gardnerian PAS model, which will only SLOW DOWN the pace by which the solution becomes available? Why are they doing that? I don’t know. Why don’t you ask them?
Why are Amy Baker, and William Bernet, and Linda Gottlieb, and all the Gardnerian PAS experts continuing to maintain their support for the Gardnerian PAS model, when in doing so they actually slow down the pace by which targeted parents acquire a solution? What solution does the Gardnerian PAS model offer? None. In 30 years as the dominant paradigm defining the construct of “parental alienation” the Gardnerian PAS model has given you exactly what you have right now, which is no solution whatsoever. Meanwhile, a paradigm shift to an attachment-based model gives you an immediate solution, led by the DSM-5 diagnosis of V995.51 Child Psychological Abuse, Confirmed.
The “new syndrome” model of Gardnerian PAS requires the approval and acceptance of establishment mental health, which has been consistently and steadfastly denied for 30 years. But because an attachment-based model defines the construct of “parental alienation” from entirely within established and already accepted forms of existing pathology, there is nothing for establishment mental health to accept or reject. That’s why the solution already exists. Right now. This instant. The only thing standing in the way of enacting this solution is the paradigm shift from the Gardnerian PAS model to an attachment-based model.
So why are your Gardnerian allies withholding their active support to enact the paradigm shift? And in fact they’re actually acting to maintain the existing Gardnerian PAS model. Why are they doing that? Don’t they recognize that slowing down the paradigm shift to an attachment-based model actually slows down the enactment of the solution?
In the Parental Alienation Study Group, William Bernet and Kathleen Reay actually coauthored an article arguing that an attachment-based model was just PAS using different words.
What? Why are they trying to morph a completely different attachment-based description of the pathology that is incredibly elaborate into just a form of PAS? Really? You’re really going to argue that an attachment-based model of “parental alienation” is simply Gardnerian PAS using different words? That’s just mind-boggling.
Let’s put that idea to the test. I’ll ask targeted parents, is an attachment-based model of “parental alienation” as described in Foundations simply Gardner’s model of PAS using different words? What do you think?
If all that’s standing in the way of the solution to the pathology of “parental alienation” is a paradigm shift from the Gardnerian PAS model to an attachment-based model, why aren’t the Gardnerian experts using the power of their professional standing and their professional contacts to speed up this paradigm shift? Imagine if Amy Baker announced that she was switching from a Gardnerian PAS model to an attachment-based model. That would represent a tectonic shift that would immediately grab the attention of establishment mental health, alerting them that a new paradigm existed. Imagine if she was actively using her professional standing to promote a paradigm shift.
This past summer, there was a high-profile “parental alienation” case in Michigan involving Judge Gorcyca. Amy Baker did a radio interview (WDET 101.9 FM) surrounding the Michigan case. This radio interview offered Dr. Baker a perfect media opportunity to lend her support to a paradigm shift, to talk about a new attachment-based model that identifies the pathology as psychological child abuse with three definitive diagnostic indicators. But she didn’t take this media opportunity to foster the paradigm shift. Instead, she discussed the 8 symptom indicators of a Gardnerian PAS model. She continues to actively work to maintain the old Gardnerian PAS model that offers no solution whatsoever rather than working to foster a paradigm shift to an attachment-based model that provides an immediate solution to the pathology. Why would she do that? Why is she continuing to advocate for the Gardnerian PAS model when that model offers targeted parents and their children no solution whatsoever? I don’t know. Why don’t you ask her?
My goal is to have the solution enacted by Christmas of 2016. Imagine how much faster this could be achieved with the active support of Amy Baker, and William Bernet, and Linda Gottlieb. But not only are they withholding their active support, they are actually working to slow down the pace by which the paradigm shift occurs in establishment mental health. It’s almost like they’d wish an attachment-based model just disappear, even though an attachment-based model provides targeted parents with an immediate solution.
Oh well, I guess they have their reasons for sitting out this fight to recover your children. So I guess we’ll just have to go it alone.
“It is better to be on hand with ten men than absent with ten thousand.”
But my goodness, Marsha, don’t you realize that a major battle is coming? In your chastisement of me, you state,
“However, your wording about Foundations when it came out, really made parents think things were going to change quickly.”
That’s correct. The solution is now available. All it waits on is the paradigm shift. Read the Dominoes post. Right now establishment mental health doesn’t even know that an attachment-based model exists. Even though an attachment-based model provides an immediate solution, if no one knows it exists then how do you imagine that the solution is going to be enacted? It almost sounds like you’re in a bit of a fantasy world, that you’re not fully grasping the situation. So let me explain some things about the upcoming battle.
There is a pretty nasty battle that still awaits us. The pathogen isn’t just going to relinquish your children. Battlefields are bloody, and chaotic, and dangerous. People get hurt, sometimes substantially hurt. Battlefields are not a nice place to be. And I’m going to be standing square in the center of this battlefield.
I have empowered targeted parents to harm my professional colleagues by threatening the livelihoods of my professional colleagues. By filing licensing board complaints against these mental health professionals, targeted parents will be threatening the ability of my professional colleagues to financially provide for their children and families. Stop and think about the implications of that for a moment; I am empowering you to threaten the ability of my professional colleagues to financially provide for their children and families. How do you think my professional colleagues are going to respond to that? Do you think I’ll be making any friends within my professional colleagues? Doubt it.
If you think you became an outsider in the Appreciation Group when you expressed a divergent opinion, imagine what I’m going to face from my professional colleagues when licensing board complaints begin to be filed against them at my urging and with my support.
Battlefields are bloody and chaotic, and not at all pleasant places to be. We still have a battle ahead of us.
In my recent post, Psychopathology and Custody Evaluations, I expose the financial racket of child custody evaluations. How do you think my professional colleagues in Forensic psychology are going to respond to my calling their work, their profession, a financial racket and shell game? Conducting child custody evaluations is their career, it’s their livelihood, it’s how they support their children and families, and I’m threatening all of that. How do you think they’re going to respond to me threatening their livelihood?
Battles are bloody, dangerous, and chaotic. Battlefields are not at all nice places to be. People get hurt, sometimes substantially hurt. And I am taking a position right square in the middle of this battlefield, shield and battleaxe in hand, preparing to take on all comers. Am I doing this for me? No. Am I doing this for you? No. I’m doing it for your children. I am fighting for your children. I am exposing myself to all the dangers of this coming battle because I am fighting for your kids.
And let me offer one more insight on the coming battle, I’m not the only one who’s going to be hit. The one who is going to be most exposed is going to be Dorcy Pruter. Why? Because she has the solution to resolving the pathology in your children and for restoring their normal-range development within a matter of days. Because of this, she represents a tremendous threat to the pathogen. The attack leveled by the pathogen against her is going to be savage and exceedingly vicious. It’s already begun, and it’s going to get worse.
But in the High Road to Family Reunification protocol of Dorcy’s is the resolution of your children’s pathological rejection of you and the return of their authenticity. I have personally reviewed the High Road protocol. I understand exactly how it works to achieve the resolution of the children’s pathology within a matter of days.
About two years ago when I first met with Dorcy surrounding her protocol, I was working on a model of reunification therapy (the initial essay is up on my website). When Dorcy showed me what she had in the High Road protocol, I stopped work on a model of reunification therapy. No point. She’s got it nailed. Reunification therapy will take at least six to nine months of struggle. The High Road protocol can resolve the child’s symptoms and restore normal-range development within a matter of days. She has the solution in her hip pocket. That makes her incredibly dangerous to the pathogen. It is going to attack her with everything it has in an effort to destroy her.
So when it attacks, I am going to stand shoulder to shoulder with her in the center of this battlefield. This means that the pathogen will then attack me with the same viciousness. Look at one of the attacks already on the Internet,
“Should I be scandalised by the fact that Craig Childress endorses her [Dorcy Pruter]? Not really, his own program calls his credentials and professional ethics into question, so why should he not endorse a quack, taking great pains to explain that Dorcy’s Program is “not therapy” but an “educational intervention”. (by the way, Dorcy Pruter has no credentials in education either).”
Just pure malevolence. Notice how the pathogen doesn’t attack substance, it attacks my “credibility” and “professional ethics.” So not only have I riled up my professional colleagues by empowering you to file licensing board complaints and by calling out the financial racket of child custody evaluations, the pathogen is also going to attack me with sneering malevolence because I stand in its way of destroying Dorcy. This battle is going to be nasty. Oh, did I mention I have no friends within the Gardnerian PAS ranks either?
Dorcy knows full well the vicious malevolence that is coming for her, and I know full well the vicious attacks that are coming for me. But we will not waver in our fight for your children. We will stand squarely in the center of this battlefield and engage the fight for your children with equal determination. But Marsha, you act like you don’t even know this battle is coming. Where’s the solution, you ask? You expected the pathogen just to relinquish your children without a fight? Didn’t you hear me calling you to battle? Or didn’t you want to hear that part? For goodness sake, Marsha, steel your heart, pick up your sword and shield and join us on this battlefield. But trust me, battles are exhausting, sweaty, bloody, dangerous, chaotic, and not at all nice places to be.
But let me also say that I understand that many of you are emotionally and psychologically drained by the years of trauma and victimization. I get it. No worries. If you need to sit this one out, not a problem. We’ll be fighting for your kids too, because this is a fight for ALL the children
In the coming days, you’ll see Dorcy and I standing squarely in the center of this melee. The job of targeted parents will be to keep your focus on the citadel of establishment mental health. Demand that the APA acknowledge that the pathology (as described in Foundations) exists . Break the pathogen’s veil of concealment. Expose it. And demand that your children and families be formally recognized as a “special population” requiring specialized professional knowledge and expertise to competently assess, diagnose, and treat. Demand professional competence.
Is the solution here? Absolutely. But you need to fight to make it happen. You need to fight for your children. The pathogen isn’t simply going to give them up to you.
Where are You?
Marsha, you write,
“You can’t just write a book and disappear!! Where are you?
We are trying to get your book out there to professionals.
For free we are advocating for YOU.”
What? Where am I? Have you read any of my posts over the summer and fall? I’m also writing the second companion book to Foundations, which is Diagnosis, and I’m writing the companion book to the ABAB design instructing mental health therapists in a structured six-session assessment of the pathology of “parental alienation” for the court. Did I mention I have a private practice so everything I do on this is after my workday seeing patients and on the weekends. Where am I? I’m working my tail off for you and your children.
For free you are advocating for ME? Well then stop it. This isn’t about me. It’s about your children. I’m about to expose myself to vicious attacks and slander for you and your children. Enacting the paradigm shift is about solving the pathology of “parental alienation” for all of your children. If you don’t understand that, if you think you’re somehow doing this for me, then stop what you’re doing because you don’t get it.
“Please tell me what to say to parents that don’t see a way to fix their situation after reading Foundations. They are feeling more helpless!”
Tell them to stop being so narcissistic and thinking only of themselves. Tell them that we cannot solve “parental alienation” in any one specific family or with one specific set of children unless we first solve it for all families and all children. Tell them that the solution to “parental alienation” will come when targeted parents put aside their own individual self-interests and begin to work for each other. “What about me” is narcissistic. “What about you” is empathic. Don’t be narcissistic. The solution for narcissism is empathy. Tell them to steel their hearts, pick up their swords and shields, and prepare to engage in the coming battle for their children.
No worries Marsha. I appreciate the courage it took to challenge me. I understand your deep grief and frustration, and your hopes that this nightmare will end. I’m out there leading, and you want me to make it end, “When will it end? Don’t tell me it’s today if it’s not today.” I get it. No worries. The tragedy and trauma of “parental alienation” that you and others have endured is profound. Your frustration and helplessness is entirely understandable. No worries on my end, Marsha.
But we’ve got a battle ahead of us. The solution is here, but we still need to wrest your children from the pathogenic grasp of the pathogen, who will not release them without a serious fight.
I’ve seen occasional objections from the allies of the pathology regarding my use of the term “pathogen.” If you run into these objections, don’t worry, ignore them, I’ve got it covered.
The pathogen represents a characteristic set of distorted “information structures” in the attachment system of the narcissistic/borderline parent which were created by the childhood trauma of abuse (which then led to the formation of the narcissistic/borderline personality traits of this parent). This characteristic set of distorted “information structures” in the attachment system of the narcissistic/borderline parent is what is responsible for creating the child’s pathology. The term “pathogen” refers to an agent that creates pathology, like a virus. The pathogen creating the pathology of “parental alienation” is a characteristic set of distorted and damaged “information structures” in the attachment system of the narcissistic/borderline parent (like a computer virus) that is creating the narcissistic/borderline personality pathology of the parent and the “parental alienation” pathology in the child.
Attacks on Dorcy
Don’t worry about attacks on Dorcy either. That’s my job. But just for your information as you encounter these attacks, Dorcy and I have submitted a proposal to the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC) for a joint professional presentation at their 2016 convention regarding the assessment of an attachment-based model of parental alienation in a legal context and its remedy. If this presentation proposal is accepted, then as part of this professional presentation we will be describing the structure of the High Road protocol and how it achieves its effectiveness. One of the primary attacks on Dorcy and the High Road protocol will be that she is unqualified. Our response will come in this professional presentation, if the presentation proposal is accepted.
We have also submitted a similar proposal to Division 41: American Psychology-Law Society of the American Psychological Association for their 2016 convention. If this proposal is accepted, we will similarly be explaining the structure of the High Road protocol and how it achieves its effectiveness in resolving the pathology of attachment-based “parental alienation.” If either or both of these professional presentations are accepted, I guarantee talks that will knock your socks off. Guaranteed.
So you wanted a blog post from me, eh Marsha? Be careful what you ask for because you just might get it <smile>. Thanks again for your honesty and your challenge, I know it took great courage. No worries on my end, and I hope this addresses your questions and concerns.
Craig Childress, Psy.D.
Clinical Psychologist, PSY 18857